his 400-acre sanctuary rests peacefully in the chaparral mountains of southern California, surrounded and protected by oaks and the natural landscape. It was established in July 2000 by the Plum Village four-fold Sangha. Now, it is a safe and serene refuge for many practitioners to come and learn the art of mindful living and to practice with a community, a Sangha.
At Deer Park, the residential monastic community and lay community practice together year round under the guidance of our teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh (Thây), in the tradition of engaged Buddhism, practicing mindfulness through out our everyday life. There are two hamlets:
Solidity Hamlet (for monks and laymen) and Clarity Hamlet (for nuns and laywomen). The two hamlets come together several times a week to practice.
At Deer Park, we are nourished not just by the formal sitting meditation sessions, but also by the practice of meditation in our daily activities outside the meditationhall. We are guided by the teachings of Thây on mindfulness and peace-making. We learn to live together as a community and to take refuge in the wisdom of the Sangha.
The monastery is open to receive guests most of the year. These are the types of visits we have to offer:
- Just for the day, we offer a Day of Mindfulness on Thursdays and Sundays most weeks of the year. No pre-registration required, but select the day that works best for you to learn more about the activities.
- For 3-day, 7-day, and 14-day visits, we offer a General Stay beginning on most Fridays. Learn more about a General Stay and register.
- Special Retreats on various themes occur throughout the year. A retreat will typically have 100-300 participants and are normally 3- or 5-days long. Discover our special retreats and register.
- Theme-Weekends, normally a Friday to Sunday, are an opportunity to deepen your practice on a specific theme. Explore the theme-weekends and register.
- Special Events are periodic events that are usually one day and are not a retreat or day of mindfulness. See if we have any upcoming special events.
- Community Work Days are an opportunity to come lend a hand and be joyfully together. See our work day schedule.